New legislation introduced earlier this month at the Board of Supervisors aims to prohibit new cannabis dispensaries from opening in Chinatown.
The legislation—introduced by District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin on April 3rd—goes before a board committee today, according to a report in the Examiner. It’s co-sponsored by Sandra Lee Fewer, Katy Tang, Jane Kim and London Breed.
Photo: Anthony G. Reyes/Flickr
When asked via email last November if he supported a moratorium, Peskin’s response was, “NO,” but a potential ban on cannabis dispensaries in Chinatown has always been a consideration, said legislative aide Sunny Angulo this week via email.
“Supervisor Peskin actually said at the time that the initial legislation was passed that he ‘reserved the right to revisit carving Chinatown out,'” she said. “Since then, community members have come back to us and requested just that.”
It appears the impetus for the legislation stems from a letter sent to the Board on April 2nd from the Community Tenants Association (CTA) president Wing Hoo Leung, urging members to exempt “all Chinatown mix-used districts…from the permissive cannabis regulations adopted last year.”
Citing a changing neighborhood, density issues and “extreme gentrification and displacement pressures,” Leung said permitting retail cannabis in the neighborhood would exacerbate residents’ ongoing concerns.
Photo: The Green Cross/Yelp
The potential for commercial landlords to “hold out on renting vacant commercial space and, in some instances, to raise the rents of existing community-serving retail space” is another factor, said Leung.
Additionally, because Chinatown is the most densely populated neighborhood in the city, second-hand smoke continues to be an issue as many families and seniors live in single-room occupancy hotels (SROs), he said.